Becket (1964), directed by Peter Glenville from Edward Anhalt’s insufferable script, adapted from a so-so Jean Anouilh play, was wildly overrated in its day. For some reason (Peter O’Toole’s Best Actor nomination, perhaps), the film is being re-released; it starts this Friday at the Kendall Square. Two of the British Isles’ most talented but erratic stars are on a hammy holiday: Irishman Peter O’Toole as the spoiled-brat Norman king, Henry II, and Welshman Richard Burton as the slightly more honorable Saxon (in real life also a Norman), Thomas à Becket. Once profligate friends, the pals become enemies when Becket turns, unconvincingly, into a sour churchman. O’Toole screams a lot, Burton does brooding soliloquies. For 148 minutes.
: Film Culture
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